Thursday, 5 January 2017

Dead Can Dance "Dead Can Dance" (1984)


Going back to the roots of Australian duo Dead Can Dance, we find an interesting debut record that makes much sense of their future linage, yet is firmly rooted within a Post-Punk sound. It has come to be one of the most interesting genres for me in recent years, although a broad term it captures the creative freedom and artistic diversity that came after the DIY Punk scene changed the rules for popular music. On the record we hear hints of whats to come, however it is masked by a rather gloomy Gothic Rock overtone and an Ethereal touch that makes it easy to indulge in.

Mood, tone, atmosphere, very much the charisma of this record without being overt or overly ambitious, its mid tempo, calming, indulgent and far from a lull but without any big, memorable moments it can pass you by. The dissonant guitars murmur through tonal riffs, steadily droning in the background with a fuzzy tone that never lets the life it has really jump out or create much of an impact. Often they dial it down to a more acoustic tone but even then it feels so subdued.

These are typical Post-Punk ideas, provided we are talking about the same niche, guitar riffs that focus on tone and mood rather than rhythm and melody. Bouncy baselines rumble underneath and the drumming is simple, repetitive, Industrial in some cases. The drums are the first noticeable instance of their future direction to come. The opening track "The Fatal Impact" and "Frontier" have tribal sounding drum patterns, hinting at Medieval or historical themes.

These ideas are yet to flourish and the two's singing voices are barely dissimilar from future trajectory. Its obviously is a big thinking point for me with this music and maybe being blind to it, something different could of emerged but the reality is its a reasonable record, enjoyable but not riveting. It has one burst of light with "A Passage In Time" however the repetitions in song structure really unwind the power of the music given the rather quiet, meek and passable production that makes for quite a bland sound where the music itself is clearly more deserving.

Rating: 5/10

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